Sunday, March 25, 2012

In December 2011 The Czech Republic has lost one of its greatest sons in the passing of Vaclav Havel and In Australia Antipodeans lost an amazing daughter in Margaret Whitlam who passed away in March 2012. Both had the greatness to bend history itself. I had the fortunate life as I was lucky enough to meet both and whilst Vaclav was very shy and short, Margaret was tall and talkative like the Media Dragon. Even in the parliamentary lifts at Macquarie Street she was like an oasis of light, chatter box and commonsense. When she spilled into the corridors of power at the Mother of Parliament (NSW Parliament House) every corner was filled with the sound of her deep melodic voice … Margaret even remembered that a certain Czechoslovak who slaved for Dr Cope at the parliamentary library had a sister by the same name Margareta (Gitka) and the motherly Mrs Whitlam cared very much for the sad story of my sister Agnesa aka Aga. Margaret loved people. She was endlessly curious. Margaret Whitlam was the wise unshockable woman locked in conversation with strangers, listening and laughing, offering her brand of spare, no-nonsense advice.
In a National Trust poll in 1997 to choose the nation's 100 ''living national treasures'', Margaret and Gough were the only husband-and-wife team elected. Like John Hatton, Margaret and Gough deserved to be declared national treasures … Tim Freedman sang it all the way only songs lend their power to describe people between the lyrical lines "Come over have dinner with me, we'll play chess and drink claret Walk slowly down my little street, you can bring Margaret" To this day I remain in awe of what Margaret achieved in such a short space of time Indeed you can bring Margaret
So many tributes Oasis of Peace; Life of the party, but she was a woman of simple pleasures Commonsense Life's twists and turns Story of Margaret; WAVERLEY Council will honour the late Margaret Whitlam by naming a park or council facility after her. Mrs Whitlam was born and raised in Bondi and spent much of her life in the east. Council to honour Bondi girl Margaret Whitlam; Love is not an easy feeling to put into words. Nor is loyalty, or trust, or joy. But she was all of these. She loved life completely and she lived it intensely. Vale Margaret Whitlam AO, 1919-2012 ; ; Links by google

Mrs Whitlam's daughter Catherine Dovey spoke movingly in St James's church. Catherine used her own tribute to speak touchingly of her parents' seven decade relationship - which Gough himself has proudly referred to as “the longest prime ministerial marriage in Australian history". She spoke of her parent's "perfect match", describing how her mother's relentlessly positive outlook on life "made her a perfect foil” for Gough". "We called it 'thinking of fruit and flowers', a phrase she would use when she tired of anything she saw as unpleasantness, for instance what she called family arguments and what we called robust discussion" My mother had an enthusiasm for life and an interest in people that was unequalled It was Margaret who once noted: "Hell has no fury like a woman scorned, but a woman scorned has nothing on a mother protecting her young..."

Some believe there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the world's ills. Yet many of the world's great movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single man a single woman - Amen